India: Transgender visual artist harassed and threatened

4 March 2021
Image: Flag of India


15 February 2021: Members of Rajkot’s eunuch community publicly harassed transgender visual artist Payal Rathwa and later threatened her with death for allegedly extorting money from people through her visual art, reported Times of India.

She was kidnapped at her home and forced to strip on a public road by the members of the community she had earlier belonged to. They also recorded the public humiliation and shared the video on social media.

The trauma from the humiliation forced Rathwa to stay in the house for three days.

LGBTQ activists launched a social media campaign #justiceforpayalrathwa.


On 20 February 2021, the artist went to Malviya Nagar Police Station to record her statement.

The eunuchs protested outside the station, accusing the police of protecting the artist and demanding her to be banned from the city. They threatened the life of the artist and alleged that she had insulted their gurus.  

The artist draws Varli tribal paintings and is an active member of Chitranagri, a local voluntary organisation beautifying public spaces.

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